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Over 100 Thousand People Attend Paris Gay Pride Parade

Homophobic incidents mar events leading up to the parade

Over one hundred thousand people thousand flooded the streets of central Paris for the annual Gay Pride parade on Saturday, with plenty of exuberance but also calls to “carry on the struggle” against discrimination.

Marchers wound their way through the French capital under the traditional rainbow colours of the LGBT community. 
Among the slogans waved on placards were “You don’t have a monopoly on families”, “Close down the Vatican” and “Neither the world nor women are here to be conquered”.

But that did not stop the haters from hating.

A self-confessed “far-right anti-LGBT activist” was arrested for ripping a rainbow flag at the French parliament on the eve of Saturday’s LGBTI parade in Paris. Earlier in the week vandals defaced rainbows painted on the street amid a right-wing backlash against official support for gay rights.

For the first time ever two rainbow flags were placed at the doors of the National Assembly this week as a “symbol of the fight against homophobia

Right-wingers and hardline Catholics demonstrated as the parliament debated the government’s gay marriage bill but failed to prevent it being passed.

Graffiti was sprayed on rainbow street crossings in the Marais, a centre of gay nightlife in Paris.

The city council responded by painting two more crossings and announcing that the decoration would become permanent, a “resolutely positive and benevolent signal” according to Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.

right-wing politicians and social media users were horrified President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to techno artistes to perform at the presidential palace during the annual music festival.

During the event LGBTQ dancers performed on the steps and posed for a photo with Macron and his wife Brigitte.

“Help!” was National Rally (formerly National Front) leader Marine Le Pen’s reaction to ,the photo while mainstream-right Republicans MP Julien Aubert stormed that “the presidency of the republic is not a nightclub and even less a strip joint”.

The photo was “an insult to France’s heart”,

Christophe Castaner, who heads Macron’s Republic on the Move party, hit back with a call to distribute the photo as widely as possible, “since it upsets a part of the political class that normalises racist and homophobe statements”.

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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